2006-04-22 / News

Area News Briefs

Fire ruled arson

JOHNSONBURG - The fire that heavily damaged a downtown Johnsonburg home Saturday night was intentionally set, according to the Pa. State Police Fire Marshal's Office. Johnsonburg Borough Police and the Johnsonburg Fire Department assisted the marshal in investigating the blaze at 141 Harrison Avenue.

The victims, who were not home at the time, are David Rooney, 32, Korin Rooney, 28, and three children, ages 3, 6 and 10. Police say someone entered the residence through an unlocked front door and intentionally ignited combustible materials inside the structure. Damage is estimated at $65,000.

A volunteer firefighter suffered a broken hand while fighting the blaze. He was treated at Elk Regional Health Center and released that same night. The family did not have insurance and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Targeting business flyers

BRADFORD -Bradford Regional Airport is trying to boost passenger counts on its new commuter service to and from Cleveland by making the flights more appealing to business travelers.

RegionsAir, the airport's new carrier, and its parent company, Continental Airlines, are seeking to coordinate service from Cleveland to other destinations based on the needs of area business travelers. RegionsAir should be ready to take over by September,

replacing Colgan Air Inc. The new carrier will use 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft, complete with a lavatory and steward. Passenger service to and from Cleveland will be offered to Bradford passengers, with three arrival and departure times per day. RegionsAir will also service Jamestown, N.Y.

Airport officials have also announced that construction is underway on a concrete deicing pad near the airport terminal. The project will also entail drainage and repaving. It should be completed by June.

Union pact okayed

COUDERSPORT -The Potter County Board of Commissioners, unanimously ratified a new labor contract with unionized employees of Potter County Human Services. The workers, represented by the Pa. Social Services Union, approved the pact earlier this year.

Board Chairman Ken Wingo said the contract provides a "modest increase in salaries (and) is fair to the workers and Potter County taxpayers alike."

'Day of Prayer'

ST. MARYS -Religious leaders are calling on area communities to observe May 4 as National Day of Prayer. In St. Marys, a half-hour prayer service is planned for noon at Benzinger Park. An evening service will follow at Queen of the World Church beginning at 7:00.

Services are ecumenical and will include representatives from all area churches. In addition, a noon prayer service will also be held in Ridgway at the gazebo in front of the Elk County Courthouse.

National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Truman.

Main St. construction

COUDERSPORT -Travelers to the Potter County seat may experience delays, due to a major Main Street construction project that got underway this week.

A section of North Main Street (Rts. 44-49) is being repaved, starting at the main intersection in the business district (Main and E. Second Sts.) and continuing north for more than two miles. The contractor, IA Construction, advises that there will be parking limitations and detouring for several months.

Crackdown on ATVs

RIDGWAY -Pa. State Police in Ridgway will be rigorously enforcing laws governing the use of all-terrain vehicles. Repeated problems have been reported ATV operators in the Kersey, Weedville/Force and Wilcox areas.

Among the common violations are operation of unregistered vehicles, lack of insurance, riding on unauthorized public roads, riding on private property without the owner's consent, violation of age restrictions, reckless driving, violation of helmet laws and inadequate lights, brakes and mufflers.

Summer theater camp

ST. MARYS-Area children with an interest in theater or related professions are invited to attend a special Missoula Children's Theater summer day camp. Elk County Council on the Arts is once again hosting this special educational opportunity June 26 to July 1.

Students can learn creativity, confidence, self-esteem and communication skills. They spend four and one-half hours a day preparing for the finale production. Emphasized skills include improvisation, choreography, lighting, costuming and other aspect of the comprehensive theater experience. For further information, call 772-7051.

Clergyman in Iraq

ST. MARYS -An Elk County clergyman called to service in Iraq with the U.S. Army Reserve expects to return to the region before September. Fr. Frank Ziemkiewicz, who is pastor of St. Marys Church, is scheduled to remain in Baghdad until July.

Col. Ziemkiewicz is serving as senior priest for MultiNational Corps, based at Camp Victory, a former palace complex for Saddam Hussein. He is responsible for providing mass and sacraments to Catholic soldiers in Iraq.

Fr. Eric Vogt and Fr. Chrysostom Schlimm have been filling in at St. Marys during Fr. Ziemkiewicz's absence.

Take to the street

COUDERSPORT -A Way Out, serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, will take to the streets to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

On Tuesday (April 25), participants will gather at 7:00 p.m. at the office on 110 East Third Street and march to the gazebo at the Courthouse Square for a short program. An open house will follow back at the office. The organizers hope to draw participants who have experienced sexual assault, those who know someone who has been assaulted, or those who want to express their support for victims.

Family left homeless

ST. MARYS - A St. Marys family of four was left homeless by a fire that struck on Easter Sunday. According to Pa. State Police in Ridgway, the early evening fire severely damaged the two-story home of Mark and Limberly Wolfel and their three children at 627 Hall Avenue.

Crystal Fire Department volunteers arrived to find fire and smoke coming from the north side of the structure. They remained on the scene for about four hours. Officials said the fire was apparently accidental in nature and caused about $80,000 in damage. The Wolfels were not home at the time.

Health Secretary visits

COUDERSPORT --State Health Secretary Calvin Johnson recently visited Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for a first-hand look at rural health care and some innovative programs operating in Potter County.

Cole's Netra Baker emphasized the successful efforts being made to identify and address the needs of young people. Johnson was impressed with the multi-agency suicide prevention program being implemented in Potter County. He also heard an update from Randall Metcalf, tobacco settlement coordinator, on smoking prevention and cessation programs.

New aerial truck

ST. MARYS -St. Marys City Council has agreed to borrow about $340,000 to help Crystal Fire Department pay for a new aerial ladder truck that has a price tag of $800,000. The KME Custom 100-foot aerial truck will replace the city's 1964 model

The loan carries a fixed interest rate of 4.99 percent. Other funding sources include $200,000 from the fire protection fund account, a $160,000 Pa. Emergency Management Agency loan and a $100,000 grant from the Stackpole Hall Foundation is committing $100,000.

Return to top